Company speaks about plans to build wind farm in Black Hawk Coun - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Company speaks about plans to build wind farm in Black Hawk County

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HAWKEYE (KWWL) -

KWWL continues to look into the possibility of a wind farm in southern Black Hawk County.

Recently, KWWL spoke with area residents who have concerns.

Thursday, KWWL visited a wind farm in Hawkeye that is owned by the company looking to build in Black Hawk County.

RPM Access of De Soto, Iowa has been in the wind energy business for nearly 20 years and has multiple farms in Eastern Iowa. 

Under RPM Access, dozens of turbines have been producing wind energy in the Hawkeye area for five years.

The company says they see the same potential in Black Hawk County.

 "Waterloo is a great location for that because the south side of Waterloo continues to expand fantastically. I hadn't been there in years and there is a lot of houses that have grown up in that area, along with industry and stuff too," said RPM Access Project Manager Kevin Lehs.

With up to 35 turbines possible in southern Black Hawk County, RPM Access says the electricity will stay in the county and bring in tax dollars.

"Over the life of the project, which would be a thirty year time, they would see in excess of $60 million worth of tax revenue," said Lehs.

Some worry about the negative environmental effects. Birds can be killed by the turbines. To combat that RPM Access conducts studies to cut down on the number of birds attracted to the area close to turbines.

"Is it a requirement of the permit? No, it is not. It is an environmentally responsible thing to do. That is what we do," said Lehs.

 For the farmers who live in the area and have leased land to RPM Access, many don't mind the turbines in their backyards.

 "They did everything they said they were going to do; the traffic was slow across, they oiled the roads. I had no complaints. They cut a few tie lines; they fixed that. All good to go," said farmer Dale Diemer.

RPM Access has not officially filed a proposal with Black Hawk County.

They plan to do so within the year.

The Black Hawk County Board of Adjustment will have to approve any plans for a wind farm.    
     

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